Installation Instructions

Exhaust Headers

 

Q: My BBK Headers Are Touching The Steering Shaft

A: We get a lot of tech calls from people who have steering shaft-header clearance issues.

1st and foremost:

Verify that your motor & tranny mounts are up to snuff. Remember, these cars are getting old, the engines are heavy and they put out lots of mount twisting torque.

If they are original then they are trash. We recommend using Energy Suspension mounts. They last alot longer and aren't that expensive.

If your mounts are good-
A lot of people have cars that have had either the heater core changed/dash removed/steering column dropped/ or an accident that may have moved the K member.

If the car had the stock manifolds on at the time the driver would've never noticed if the shaft moved closer to the manifold because it would be nearly impossible to make the shaft touch a stock manifold and still steer the car without binding up.

Only when installing aftermarket headers do you realize the thing has been moved.

FIX
Go under the dash, loosen the 4 big nuts that attach the steering column to the framework under the dash.

Go under the hood, grab the shaft and pry it away form the header. It will move if the nuts are loose.

Go back under the dash and tighten the nuts up.

This will pivot the entire steeringcolumn and shaft. It will only move the steering wheel a little bit (you probably won't even notice it) since the mounting nuts are close to the steering wheel, but it will move the shaft enough to clear the header.

Of course, if the car has been smashed up and the chassis/K member is bent, then even this might not help you.

If that's the case then see a body shop and get your rig straightened out.
 

Q. Why is Polished Ceramic a better choice for Header Coating than Chrome?

(part numbers affected include: 1512, 15120, 1515, 15150, 1525, 15250, 1529 15290, 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690, 3520, 35200, 3521, 35210, 1511, 15110, 3510, 35100, 3511, 35110, 3515, 35150, 3516, 35160, 4005, 40050, 4006, 40060, 40000, 40010, 40040, 4002, 40020, 4003, 40030, 1567, 15670, 1568, 15680, 1596, 15960, 15950)

A. Chrome has a very classy finish to it that many people enjoy. However, due to the extreme temperatures experienced in the exhaust system, chrome will tend to discolor over time. Polished ceramic on the other hand will retain its color much longer than chrome, and offer better longevity and protection for your exhaust system. It also has the added benefit of heat displacement; polished ceramic will not allow as much heat to seep through to your engine compartment - it will push it out the exhaust! This will lead to slightly lower temperatures in the engine compartment, further adding to both its life span as well as other components in your engine bay.
 

Q. The 5.0L shorty header system lists as only for 86-93. Can I use it on my 1985 or older mustang?

(part numbers affected include: 1515, 15150, 1512, 15120)

A. The shorty systems are fully capable of being used on 79-85 mustang engines. However, they are not a direct bolt-on for the remainder of the system. The 86 and ups used a dual exhaust system with an H-pipe that differed from the earlier models. If you have plans to upgrade your 79-85 mustang to the newer dual exhaust system, then a BBK shorty header upgrade would be a great way to finish off that job, and will help you make maximum horsepower from your project pony.
 

Q. I am trying to decide between regular shorties or equal length shorty headers for my 5.0L Mustang. Which do you think I should pick?

(part numbers affected include: 1515, 15150, 1512, 15120, 1525, 15250, 1529, 15290)

A. There is no "right" answer to this question! Both have their up sides and down sides, and both are potent performers. The equal length shorties offer better performance for the dollar, no doubt. But the down side is that because of the extra tubing required before the collector, you will have to work around all that mass during install and tune ups, and there will be less clearance. The regular shorty headers are still a great value, and offer much improved performance over stock. And since they follow an easy design, installation and tune ups is more of a breeze than with the equal lengths. In the end, the decision is yours: Do you want the most power you can get out of shorty headers, or are you more interested in a balanced power gain with easier installation and maintenance?
 

Q: What Are Tuned Length Headers?

Its all about the design and tube lengths.

Equal length Headers:
All tubes are the same length and wrap around like crazy to make that happen and typically a real pain to install.

Equal lengths make more top end horsepower than shorties.

Shorty Un-Equal Lengths:
Tubes just make the distance between head and mid pipe with minimal bends. Tubes are larger diameter and offer better performance than stock manifolds. Easier to install but leaves performance on the table.

Shorties make more low and mid range torque than equal lengths.

Tuned Length:
(This word and header design is a proprietary BBK creation) this came to be because there are new-ish applications that don't make equal lengths possible due to fitment. Tuned lengths tubes are as long as possible to perform like equal lengths, but arranged and packaged in a manner that makes them easy to install like shorties in applications where there is tight. The tube lengths are optimized as much as possible given the fitment allowable in the engine compartment.

The result is that tuned length is the best of both worlds. They offer the TQ of shorties with the top end of equal lengths in a package that fits without breaking out a sawsall to make them fit.
 

Q. My Long Tube Headers for my 4.6L Mustang will not allow my dipstick tube to fit properly. What must be done?

(part numbers affected include: 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690)

A. The long tube header install will require that you modify your dipstick tube to fit. This simply entails bending the tubing of the dipstick for clearance and then re-installing.
 

Q. I ordered 1532 / 15320 Long Tube Headers for my 98 Cobra, but my pipes have the EGR in the wrong spot. Did I get the wrong part for my car?

(part numbers affected include: 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940)

A. The 1998 Cobra has a different EGR location than any other Cobra model. But, the connections are the same, and the tubing can be modified to work with the EGR outlet on the BBK headers. The piping must simply be bent to match the opening direction in order to allow the pieces to screw together.
 

Q. Will the Long Tube System be compatible with Factory and after market Cat-Back systems?

(part numbers affected include: 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690,1635, 1658, 1659, 1660, 1671, 1672, 1509, 1510, 1535, 1538, 1560, 1561)

A. The long Tube systems are designed to replace the factory exhaust manifolds, as well as the factory H-pipe. However, they will still meet up with the factory cat-back system in the same location, ensuring that you can safely run any after market cat-back system designed to work with the factory pipes.
 

Q. The Long Tube Header system states that it is for Manual transmissions only. Why won't it work on my Automatic?

(part numbers affected include: 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690)

A. The Automatic transmissions are much larger than their manual counterparts. This greatly affects the already-small amount of passage space there is for the larger piping required to fit passed this area. There is also the linkage to worry about; the automatic transmission has linkage on the side that the pipes could interfere with, not allowing you to shift properly through the range. You very well might be able to get them to work on an automatic-equipped car. However, we don't advertise it, as it is not a "direct bolt-on." Fitting them to an automatic car requires some grinding of the transmission and bell housing, as well as some modification to the pipes. Since making them work on an automatic requires modification to the part, BBK will not warranty the fitment nor the piece that was modified, and thus they are advertised as a direct fit for manual transmissions only. Fitting them to an automatic car unfortunately becomes a custom application, though we know that many customers have adapted them to fit, and are happy with the performance gains of their new long tubes.
 

Q. What is the proper way to fasten my Header system to the vehicle?

(part numbers affected include: 1512, 15120, 1515, 15150, 1525, 15250, 1529 15290, 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690, 3520, 35200, 3521, 35210, 1511, 15110, 3510, 35100, 3511, 35110, 3515, 35150, 3516, 35160, 4005, 40050, 4006, 40060, 40000, 40010, 40040, 4002, 40020, 4003, 40030, 1567, 15670, 1568, 15680, 1596, 15960, 15950)

A. There are many ways that it could be done. However, some will yield less-than-spectacular results. Generally, you will want to install the header bolts hand-tight in each hole. Once that is accomplished, you should start tightening them down from the inside out; meaning that you should begin with the bolts at the center of the header, and work out towards both ends alternatively. This will help keep the flange from flexing abnormally, and will allow a much better seal than if you were to start at the front and work towards the back.
 

Q. I received my Long Tube Headers for my 4.6L Mustang. The Driver's Side has what appears to be a dent in the 2nd tube. Is this header damaged?

(part numbers affected include: 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410)

A. The clearance on the Driver's side of the engine compartment is very tight, so tight that you will be hard-pressed to fit anything there as large as a Long-tube Header kit. Thankfully, we here at BBK have done the hard work for you! That "dent" in the tube is actually a clearance recess, so that the headers will not interfere with the operation of your steering shaft. Do not worry, that bend in the tube is there before it leaves our factory, and is not a defect at all. You should enjoy great performance gains of your long tube header system once you have it all installed, regardless of that particular bend.
 

Q. I have an F-series Super Duty. Will your F-150 headers work for my vehicle?

(part numbers affected include: 3510, 35100, 3511, 35110, 3515, 35150, 3516, 35160)

A. The BBK header system is designed around a non-Super Duty frame. Due to the added bracing to the frame on the Super Duty trucks, our header system will not work with these models without modification to the part and/or the vehicle. Since the part may have to be modified to fit, BBK does not advertise it as a direct bolt on, and cannot warranty the fitment nor any user-modified pieces.
 

Q. I have a Ford Expedition. I see that BBK offers headers for a 97-03 F-150. Since the Expedition frames are the same as the F-150, can't I use it on my vehicle?

(part numbers affected include: 3515, 35150, 3516, 35160)

A. Well, yes and no. Yes, the expedition uses the same frame as the F-150, but in 2003 the Expedition had a major makeover, to include the change to a new frame (in fact, the frame that the newer 2004 F-150 uses). While it technically is still using the F-150 frame, the 03's are in fact different from their predecessors. So for any Expedition model 97-02, you can still use either the 3515 and 35150, or 3516 and 35160 headers, depending on your motor. But, the 2003 Expedition will NOT be able to use these header systems.
 

Q. I purchased a set of headers for my LT-1 motor. The EGR fittings on my engine are female, and so are the BBK headers! Is this the right kit for my application?

(part numbers affected include: 1567, 15670, 1568, 15680, 1596, 15960, 15950)

A. The kit you have is most likely correct. All of the LT-1 headers that BBK offers use a female connection for the EGR tubing. Don't get mad yet, though! We are fully aware that some models utilize a male threaded hookup on the exhaust system instead of a female one, and supplied in every kit should be two brass-colored, two-ended male adapters. One side will fit into the header, and the other will adapt to your EGR tubing!
 

Q. What applications will require a 1676 O2 extension harness kit?

(part numbers affected include: 1507, 1562, 1565, 1566, 1521, 1563, 1616, 1618, 1661, 1662, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1666, 1669, 1670, 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1635, 1638, 1659, 1660, 1671, 1672, 1509, 1510, 1535, 1538, 1560, 1561, 1676)
A. Typically, you should only require a single 1676 extension kit for the front sensors if you are installing a long tube header system. Some 2004 models will also require a harness for the rear O2 sensors as well. All other piping systems and model years should place the O2 sensor very close to the stock location, so that you will not need an extension.
 

Q. I was looking for a header system for my 2000 Camaro. I saw in your Catalog that there are systems for the year before and after mine. Is my model not covered?

(part numbers affected include: 4002, 40020, 4003, 40030)

A. Unfortunately, the 2000 Camaro model utilized a proprietary header system, meaning that the headers for that specific year deviated from both the models before it and after it. At this time, BBK does not offer a header system specifically for that model year.
A. It depends on the root cause. A check engine light can be for many reasons, most of which are unrelated to what the MIL eliminators are designed to correct. Perhaps we should start by explaining the MIL eliminators and what they do.
The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) eliminators are designed to plug in-line with the rear O2 sensors, between them and the harness. Under normal conditions with the stock pipes and converters, the rear O2 sensors give a certain reading to the computer. There is a certain set of parameters that the computer expects from these sensors, and will not trip the light so long as the readings fall between those parameters. Those rear O2 sensors are in place to monitor the operation of the catalytic converter system, and once you remove the cats, you will fall outside of those parameters and the light will turn on.
The MIL eliminators are designed to modify the reading of the O2 sensors with a cat-less system on an otherwise stock or lightly modified, well-tuned car to get it back to what the ECU (Engine Control Unit) would expect as "normal" parameters. There are situations in which the MIL eliminators might not be enough, however. If your vehicle is not properly tuned or for some reason is running excessively rich or excessively lean, it is easy to imagine that the engine will push much too much contaminants out, and the MIL eliminators will fall short of modifying the signal to read well within the expected parameters. This is actually also a fail-safe in a sense, as if something were to be wrong with your vehicle that would cause it to fall outside of what would typically be expected, it could be a sign of other, more important problems.
Another thing to verify is whether or not the codes that are being "thrown" are related to the rear O2 sensors at all. Though the appearance of the light may be in close proximity to the installation of the MIL eliminators, that does not guarantee that the two are related. And, while you are at it, just in case you did not do the install yourself, now would be a good time to verify that the eliminators are on the REAR O2 sensors, as they WILL cause trouble if installed on the front sensors.
If you can verify that your car is otherwise running well, and should for all intents And purposes not be tripping the light, you might want to try and reset the computer to clear the code, as if the code was present before the MIL eliminator install, it might still trip the light even though the situation no longer exists. Another thing to try, and for some inexplicable reason it works from time to time, is to switch them from side to side.
If you still have problems with them, it may in fact be that the set is for some reason out of spec. If after verifying the other information here you still have problems, you might want to contact your dealer and see if they can swap them out under warranty. If they are unable to do so, you may contact BBK directly to do an exchange provided you can supply proof of purchase and are still within our one year warranty period.
 

Q. I purchased a BBK header/H-pipe/X-pipe system for my 5.0L mustang. Why won't my collectors line up with the rest of my exhaust piping?

(part numbers affected include: 1507, 1521, 1661, 1662, 1512, 15120, 1515, 15150, 1525, 15250, 1529 15290, 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690, 1511, 15110, 3510, 35100, 3511, 35110, 1653, 1660, 1671, 1672, 1509, 1510, 1560, 1561)

A. The BBK exhaust pieces are designed around a factory head. In this way, we can ensure that it will fit a factory 5.0L, or any 5.0L with parts that also match factory spec. However, some after market heads DO NOT meet the specs of the factory heads. If the deck height is larger than stock, then it will push the collectors more toward the center, and cause misalignment with the H-pipe or X-pipe. A similar misalignment will occur if you are using a hi-port head, as it will bring the top of the header further up the slope of the head, changing the location of the collector relative to the rest of the car. The problem can seem even more severe when used with Long Tube header systems, as any angle change becomes more noticeable the further away the from the area of rotation. Basically, a small-degree rotation may affect the alignment of a short pipe by less than an inch, but since the collectors on the long tubes are much further removed from the source of the angle change, the difference could be as much as a few inches.
 

Q. What size is the tubing and flange on BBK's header Systems?

(part numbers affected include: 1512, 15120, 1515, 15150, 1525, 15250, 1529 15290, 1532, 15320, 1533, 15330, 1541, 15410, 1516, 15160, 1519, 15190, 1594, 15940, 1569, 15690, 3520, 35200, 3521, 35210, 1511, 15110, 3510, 35100, 3511, 35110, 3515, 35150, 3516, 35160, 4005, 40050, 4006, 40060, 40000, 40010, 40040, 4002, 40020, 4003, 40030, 1567, 15670, 1568, 15680, 1596, 15960, 15950, 1507, 1562, 1565, 1566, 1521, 1563, 1616, 1618, 1661, 1662, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1666, 1669, 1670)

A. All of BBK's Headers use a thick 3/8-inch precision laser cut flange, and are constructed out of 16 gauge aluminized steel tubing. Also, all of BBK's header systems and exhaust piping is Mandrel bent, which means that the pipe is the same size even throughout the bends, ensuring even flow throughout the entire system.
 

Q. Does BBK make exhaust and intake products for a Mach 1 Mustang?

A. The Mach 1 Mustang utilizes the same basic engine structure as the older Cobra motors, but with the newer EGR systems. With that in mind, most of BBK's product lineup for the newer Cobra should adapt to the Mach 1 with no modification. Our Long Tube Headers should work great, as well as our Cobra Throttle bodies. The only exception to this is with Cold Air Induction kits. As the Mach 1 uses a hood-mounted Ram-Air-like induction system that differs from the traditional system found on the Cobras, the Cobra CAI's will not match up. And to be honest, The Mach 1's induction system is arguably the best non-forced-induction intake design you can have, with not much improvement that can be offered over stock!